So, it looks like the on-again, off-again status of the R8 E-tron has now been resolved, and not a moment too soon because Audi has spent a pretty long time coming to this decision. To be fair, the German automaker understood that to green light the production of the R8 E-tron, significant improvements had to be made to increase the model’s range of 134 miles.
It turns out that the solution, according to Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development, was found after significant progress had been made in battery technology, including the way it was packaged, which made them more space efficient.
Ultimately, Audi successfully bumped up the E-Tron’s range, thanks to a re-engineering program, and to be fair, it wasn’t just a marginal increase in range. From the initial 134 miles, Hackenberg’s team of engineers managed to more than double the electric sports car’s range to an impressive 279 miles.
So with that headache resolved, the road to production for the R8 E-Tron just got a lot smoother, even though a specific time frame for its arrival has yet to be announced.
But hey, one problem at a time, right? The important thing is the R8 E-tron is going to be produced after all, even if the decision that led to it took a lot longer than a lot of people anticipated.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 E-tron.
Audi brought hybrid technology to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the grueling endurance race comprehensively. The Audi R18 Le Mans prototype provided a great test-bed for hybrid-electric powertrains. Quite obviously, someone in the team dreamed of a road car with the same electric drive as the race car . Thus, the Audi R8 E-tron concept was born.
There is more to it than just a powertrain swap though. The batteries powering the electric motors are your conventional lithium-ion ones, but the chemical composition has been changed to generate as much energy as possible. This means engineers are able to reduce the net weight of the battery pack.
The Audi R8 e-tron is destined to use the next-generation R8 supercar platform. The aluminum-carbon-fiber composite structure should drop the curb weight in order to accommodate the heavy battery pack. The drivetrain consists of two electric motors with a combined output of 375 horsepower and 605 pound-feet. Expect a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed limited to just 124 mph due to battery and drivetrain constraints.